Frontline and Euronav scrap $4.2 billion merger

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Oil tanker company Frontline said on Monday a $4.2 billion deal to merge with rival Euronav NV was terminated, a combination which would have created the world’s largest publicly listed tanker company.

Frontline will not make a voluntary conditional exchange offer for Belgian oil tanker and storage operator Euronav’s shares and will no longer seek a listing on Euronext Brussels, it said in a statement.

“We regret that we could not complete the merger as envisaged in July 2022, as that would have created the by far largest publicly listed tanker company,” Chief Executive Lars Barstad said.

The two companies announced the deal last year, aiming to create a market-leading oil tanker group with 146 vessels. Euronav had received “a clear signal” from shareholders in support of its proposed deal.

However, since the announcement of the planned merger, Euronav had clashed with its biggest shareholder Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), which sought to block it.

The merged company was expected to have a market capitalisation of more than $4 billion and the merger was supposed to generate synergies of at least $60 million a year.

In November, Euronav reported its first quarterly net profit since 2020 and core earnings more than 10 times higher than a year ago, thanks to accelerated large tanker freight rate recovery.

Euronav did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on the termination.

[reuters]

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